philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

13Nov/18Off

Microsoft to Host Women in AI & Mixed Reality Hackathon in San Francisco

Over the last few years, the virtual reality space has earned a welcome reputation for fostering better representational balance with regard to gender compared to the general tech industry, with women like Nonny de la Peña and many others leading the charge.

microsoft-host-women-ai-mixed-reality-hackathon-san-francisco.w1456Comparatively, augmented reality hasn't (at least on the surface) looked as balanced, which is something Microsoft is apparently working to address at the developer level via an upcoming event.

In December, Microsoft will host the Women in AI & Mixed Reality Hackathon at the Microsoft Reactor in San Francisco, right across the street from the Moscone Center, the site of countless tech events that were important to Silicon Valley's overall history.

See the full post here:https://hololens.reality.news/news/microsoft-host-women-ai-mixed-reality-hackathon-san-francisco-0189913/

13Nov/18Off

Japanese man ‘marries’ virtual reality singer Hatsune Miku hologram

n-miku-a-20181113-870x580In fact, none of Kondo’s relatives attended his wedding to Miku — an animated 16-year-old with saucer eyes and lengthy aquamarine pigtails — but that didn’t stop him from spending ¥2 million on a formal ceremony at a Tokyo hall.

Around 40 guests watched as he tied the knot with Miku, present in the form of a cat-sized stuffed doll.

Since March, Kondo has been living with a moving, talking hologram of Miku that floats in a $2,800 desktop device.

And Gatebox, the company that produces the hologram device featuring Miku, has issued a “marriage certificate,” which certifies that a human and a virtual character have wed “beyond dimensions.”

See the full story here: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/12/national/japanese-man-marries-virtual-reality-singer-hatsune-miku-hologram/#.W-sYAy3MwnU

13Nov/18Off

Oath, 360i and Nat Geo bring programmatic to virtual reality on Mars

s3-nat_geo_vr_1--default--940The VR experience lets users explore what life would be like on the red-rock planet. Naturally, life on Mars won't be without ads, as any good marketer knows to follow its audience.

Lucas added the 'Mars' demographic matches the upscale, younger consumer that uses VR, which made advertising in the space a natural step for Nat Geo and provides value for brands in the future.

Kolin Kleveno, head of programmatic at 360i, said everybody involved in the project wanted to make sure the ads looked alive and realistic on VR without being intrusive.

See the full story here: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/11/12/oath-360i-and-nat-geo-bring-programmatic-virtual-reality

13Nov/18Off

Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?

merlin_146198541_0ded0650-ce84-4897-8904-c2f2033cdd4f-superJumboNow get ready for the nanoinfluencers.

That is the term (“nanos” for short) used by companies to describe people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media.

Ms. Baker, a leasing manager in Alexandria, Va., said she had stumbled into the hobby-slash-gig after being scouted by Obviously, which describes itself as “a full-service influencer marketing agency.”

To Mae Karwowski, the chief executive of Obviously, nanoinfluencers are a largely untapped and inexpensive opportunity.

But as influencers — like the 20-year-old fashion model Luka Sabbat, with his 1.4 million Instagram followers — have grown in popularity, they have started charging more. And with their success and online fame, they may be losing the homespun quality that once distinguished them from the crowd of celebrity endorsers.

Prices have climbed even for the midlevel group known as microinfluencers. Taylor Camp, for example, who has almost 37,000 Instagram followers on an account called TheTieGuy, said in an interview that he had recently earned $500 for two Instagram posts for a men’s shaving company.

Kelsey Rosenberg, a 26-year-old in Columbus, Ohio, with 1,900 Instagram followers, saw an opportunity when influencer marketing took off. She contacted companies, including bars and restaurants in her area, and now regularly incorporates advertising into her Instagram feed.

“It’s like one of your friends telling you a new skin care product is amazing, but instead of me telling my friends at happy hour, it’s me telling them on Instagram,” she said.

There are strings attached, though.

“You have to keep it on your feed for a certain amount of weeks,” Ms. Rosenberg said, “and they want you to say certain keywords, like something is ‘cruelty free’ or something ‘smells good,’ or whatever their marketing says. They want you to mimic that.”

Ms. Gee admitted to having mixed feelings.

“I feel kind of like an infomercial, and I’m generally kind of uncomfortable pushing things on people,” she said. “But I’ve seen a return on that, albeit small.”

See the full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/11/business/media/nanoinfluencers-instagram-influencers.html?utm_source=MIT+Technology+Review&utm_campaign=621536fc6b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_13_12_43&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_997ed6f472-621536fc6b-153894145

13Nov/18Off

Can AIs Create True Art?

Marina EsmeraldoAt GumGum, an AI company that focuses on computer vision, we wanted to explore the intersection of AI and art by devising a Turing Test of our own in association with Rutgers University’s Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Cloudpainter, an artificially intelligent painting robot. We were keen to see whether AI can, in fact, replicate the intent and imagination of traditional artists, and we wanted to explore the potential impact of AI on the creative sector.

Even though the Cloudpainter machine has evolved over time to become a highly intelligent system capable of making creative decisions of its own accord, the final piece of work could only be described as a collaboration between human and machine.

Moreover, until AI can be programed to absorb inspiration, crave communication and wantto express something in a creative way, the work it creates on its own simply cannot be considered art without the intention of its human masters. Creatives working with AI find the process to be more about negotiation than experimentation.

THERE’S AN ACTIVE ROLE BETWEEN ART AND VIEWER

How traditional art purveyors react to AI art on the world stage is yet to be seen, but in the words of Leandro Castelao—one of the artists we enlisted for the study—“there’s an active role between the piece of art and the viewer. In the end, the viewer is the co-creator, transforming, re-creating and changing.” This is a crucial point; when it’s difficult to tell AI art apart from human art, the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder rings particularly true.

See the full story here: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/can-ais-create-true-art/?utm_source=MIT+Technology+Review&utm_campaign=621536fc6b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_13_12_43&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_997ed6f472-621536fc6b-153894145

13Nov/18Off

Disney Researchers Introduce ‘MotionStick’ AR Puppeteering

...your smart phone mimicking the motion of your arms similar to puppeteering.

MotionStickTo build your scene, you will first use your smart phone to place the AR character in your real-world surrounds. You take control of your character by placing your finger on the screen; it’s this action that creates the MotionStick between your smart phone and the AR character. Once connected, you now have the ability to make your character walk, run, crouch and even jump using a series of simple, natural gestures.

Move your smart phone to the left in a slow manner to have your AR puppet walk casually to the left. If you were to quickly move your phone in circles, however, your puppet would then engage in a frantic jog in a circular pattern.

To build your scene, you will first use your smart phone to place the AR character in your real-world surrounds. You take control of your character by placing your finger on the screen; it’s this action that creates the MotionStick between your smart phone and the AR character. Once connected, you now have the ability to make your character walk, run, crouch and even jump using a series of simple, natural gestures.

Move your smart phone to the left in a slow manner to have your AR puppet walk casually to the left. If you were to quickly move your phone in circles, however, your puppet would then engage in a frantic jog in a circular pattern.

See the full story here: http://www.virtualrealitypulse.com/edition/daily-samsung-oculus-2018-11-11?open-article-id=9213162&article-title=disney-researchers-introduce--motionstick--ar-puppeteering&blog-domain=vrscout.com&blog-title=vrscout

12Nov/18Off

Tech C.E.O.s Are in Love With Their Principal Doomsayer

11HARARI-01-superJumboThe futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari worries about a lot.

He worries that Silicon Valley is undermining democracy and ushering in a dystopian hellscape in which voting is obsolete.

He worries that by creating powerful influence machines to control billions of minds, the big tech companies are destroying the idea of a sovereign individual with free will.

He worries that because the technological revolution’s work requires so few laborers, Silicon Valley is creating a tiny ruling class and a teeming, furious “useless class.”

But lately, Mr. Harari is anxious about something much more personal. If this is his harrowing warning, then why do Silicon Valley C.E.O.s love him so?

See the full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/business/yuval-noah-harari-silicon-valley.html

12Nov/18Off

What happens to free speech when we all live in a virtual world?

1051838724.jpg.0“I worry about a time in the future where people are spending a huge amount of time in virtual spaces and do not have the ability to talk about certain ideas, with the ability to really have any concept of free speech,” Luckey said. “I worry about a world where we have a hypothetical right to free speech ... out in the real world, and that that right doesn’t matter because very few people even spend most of their time there.”

It’s an interesting concept. If it’s true that we’re all going to spend time “living” in virtual reality, who will be tasked with making the rules of that society? The government? The tech company that created it? Will there be any rules?

See the full story here: https://www.recode.net/2018/11/8/18075744/palmer-luckey-free-speeh-virtual-reality-facebook

12Nov/18Off

The rising power of virtual influencers

181110 Lil Miquela_resources1-largeComputer-generated virtual models are supplanting real flesh and blood fashionistas.

Meet Miquela, a Brazilian-American “pop star” with a follower count on Instagram of more than 1.4 million. Created as part of a digital project in 2016, Miquela also known as Lil Miquela, has become a source of fascination for many on social media and has even managed to turn heads in the fashion world.

 The fictional character, who even captions her photos and pushes Prada and Chanel, among other brands, has massive influence and power over Instagram like any other real influencer.

Mimicking human influencers by uploading selfies and posing for photographs, virtual influencers are designed to portray an ideal lifestyle, with their accounts attracting people from all over the world.

“What matters is not whether something exists or not, rather how creatively can a story be built around it – take the example of any Marvel or DC superhero,” said Bhalla.

See the full story here: https://gulfnews.com/uae/the-rising-power-of-virtual-influencers-1.59679832

12Nov/18Off

Two Bit Circus Micro-Amusement Park™ Debuts Virtual Reality Game PING! and Hosts PING! Tournament In Downtown Los Angeles

PING! is a virtual reality game where players are inserted into the 3D world of Pong, except instead of joysticks, the players are the paddles. Beam yourself into this classic game to compete against friends and family. Recommended for ages 9 to 99.

Sharing its DNA with the groundbreaking 1972 Atari classic Pong, PING! at Two Bit Circus will bring teams and spectators together to host a winner-takes-all tournament on Tuesday, November 13, with a chance to play a Two Bit Circus co-founder, Brent Bushnell or Eric Gradman, as a grand prize.

See the full story here: https://newstage.com.ng/2018/11/09/two-bit-circus-micro-amusement-park-debuts-virtual-reality-game-ping-and-hosts-ping-tournament-in-downtown-los-angeles/